Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dodgers have interest in Angels' 2B Howie Kendrick, but don't expect a deal

An interesting name on the trade market, first brought up by Mike Petriello, is the Angels' Howie Kendrick. The second baseman is someone the Dodgers have interest in and he'd fill a long-term need.

Petriello also wrote about the Kendrick whispers, as he called them, over at his blog today.

I'm as big a Mark Ellis fan as any Dodger blogger, but even I would jump at the chance to acquire Kendrick to upgrade the position.

Despite Eills hitting the walk-off single last night, set up by Andre Ethier and his "above-average" speed, the Dodgers could use an upgrade at second base. Ellis has been playing better of late. He's hitting .322/.362/.391 with 14 RBI in 22 July games and .415/.419/.512 during his 11-game hitting streak. I only included the number of RBIs in the first stat line because it was a surprising total to me. He's been rock solid at second base since a few hiccups earlier in the season. But just because he's playing well now doesn't mean the Dodgers should stop looking to get better.

Ellis would be a perfect complementary player to a guy like Chase Utley, but it appears he won't be traded in the next 5 1/2 hours. Kendrick is no slouch at the position defensively and is a clear upgrade offensively.

Kendrick is two years removed from being a 5-plus-win player -- a number Ellis has never posted in his career (4.3 WAR is his career-high). This year, Kendrick is worth a nearly 2 1/2 wins and has a triple slash of .301/.344/.446 with 11 home runs.and solid defense at second.

Kendrick is locked up through 2015 for a total of $18.85 million. He also has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block trades to 12 teams.

A player like this wouldn't be especially cheap in terms of prospects, but with the Angels' barren farm system and the fact they traded Scott Downs for a non-prospect and Alberto Callaspo for a former first-rounder who might not hit enough in the majors (Grant Green), the Dodgers could swoop in and pry Kendrick away.

Then again, the last time the Dodgers and Angels made a trade was 1993. I know I remember the Dodgers sending Reggie Williams south for Mike James. What a blockbuster. Before that, they hadn't traded since 1976.

With Atre Moreno's stubborn ways and apparent disdain for the Dodgers, a deal doesn't seem likely. But they just traded a nice bench piece in Callaspo to the A's -- a division rival -- so I guess anything is possible.

There are two close-to-untouchables in the Dodgers' system: Corey Seager and Julio Urias. I wouldn't move either of those kids (they're both teenagers) for anyone short of Giancarlo Stanton or, as long as we're thinking unrealistically, Manny Machado. It wouldn't take either of those kids to land Kendrick.

The Angels could use help at just about every position on the farm. Guys like Zach Lee, Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling and Chris Reed would go a long way to replenish their system.

Unless the Angels could be convinced Reed and filler would be enough for Kendrick -- they're seeking frontline, MLB-ready arms for guys like Kendrick and Erick Aybar. Makes sense, but it won't happen. Lee might be the closest thing to that want.

Preferably, I'd rather the Dodgers make a guy like Chris Reed the centerpiece, but I'm not sure the Angels' brass would feel the same way.

As big a Lee guy as I am (had him ranked the team's No. 1 prospect since the start of the 2012 season), I'd think for a long time about including him to get Kendrick. That's hard for me to write.

It'd probably take only one top five guy and some filler to land Kendrick. At this rate, I wouldn't be terribly opposed to it. I see big things for the Dodgers going forward, and having another proverbial round in the chamber never hurts.

With the Dodgers landing Brian Wilson on Tuesday, I could see another trade for a reliever, but it's not as likely now. Instead, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Dodgers stood pat today.

One thing's for sure -- they probably won't make a blockbuster-type move -- at least, not today.

Photo credit: Eric Enfermero, Wikimedia Commons

1 comment:

  1. This was a good suggestion that you put up here...dude…..hope that it benefits all the ones who land up here. 

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